Chamblee Takes a Swing into its Softball Season

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Lyvia Huang, Reporter

 Chamblee’s varsity softball team is off to a great start this year with a record of five wins and only one loss as of August 19, 2022. The team is looking forward to a season of playing against stronger teams and hopefully making state. 

Every great team needs a great coach, and Chamblee’s softball team is fortunate to have a coach as passionate as Coach Berryman, who also teaches at Chamblee.

 “I am so blessed to be able to do something that I love every day with a bunch of girls as passionate and talented as the [the girls on the softball team] are and to see their progress but also just to be there for their victories, their joys,” said Berryman. 

Coach Berryman initially declined the school’s request for him to coach softball.

“I [didn’t] know if [the girls] were gonna be able to handle coaching criticisms and be able to take the B-man,”said Berryman. 

But after being asked a second time, Berryman agreed. Since then, he has found that he truly enjoys coaching softball at Chamblee.

For players, Softball isn’t only about the game – strong friendships are developed as well.

 “My first games have been fantastic.They’ve been so fun. And I’ve gotten to become friends with a lot of new people that I’ve never talked to before, and I got to spend time with my wonderful teammates,” said Elena Smith (‘25), “I’m looking forward to building friendships with my teammates. It’s very important to me.”

Smith isn’t the only team member who values softball friendships. 

“[I’m most looking forward to] just hanging out with the team because that’s really fun,” said Rachel Axelson (‘25).

Coach Berryman wanted the team to be challenged more this season. 

“We tried to make our schedule a bit more challenging this year. Instead of playing opponents who were not on the same level as we were, we had to move up classifications to find harder opponents this year. I hope it pays off because when we get to Columbus for the Elite Eight, and that’s our goal, everybody’s good,” said Berryman. (The Elite Eight is a round of the state championship.)

The players are also in favor of being pushed more.

 “I’m looking forward to playing some of the private school teams because I know they’re going to be harder, but I still think we can win,” said Julia Mansour (‘24). 

As Coach Berryman stated, the team’s goal is to make the Elite Eight and travel to Columbus as it did last year. 

To reach this goal, the players will need to work on combining their individual strengths. 

“I would say cohesiveness [is what I most want the team to work on]. I think we have a lot of girls that are very diverse in their lifestyles, their views, and their classes. And I really want to concentrate on them coming together more as a team this year than they were last year,” said Berryman. 

Mansour agrees that the team needs to improve its cohesiveness. 

“Our greatest strength is our talent because I think we’re made up of a lot of great players, but we lack communication,” said Mansour. 

Though the team lacks communication,  each player brings their own assets to the team. 

“My greatest strength would probably be just being resilient. Even if I’m struggling, I just keep going,” said Axelson. 

Smith also brings this determination to the team.

“I feel like [because of softball] I’ve become more resilient and more hardy,” said Smith. 

It’s clear that part of the reason Chamblee’s softball team is so successful is that the players and coaches love the sport and each other. The team is ready for what’s looking to be a challenging yet rewarding season.

Varsity Softball player Julia Mansour pictured with teammates.